Drivers can soon hit accelerator to 70 mph on Ohio Turnpike

CHICAGO (BestGrowthStock) – Motorists on the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike can hit the accelerator from April 1, when the state increases the speed limit to 70 miles per hour, a Turnpike Commission spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The increase was designed to get trucks off of parallel rural routs and back on Turnpike, which can handle them better, said Commission spokeswoman Lauren Hakos.

“The purpose of the increased speed is safety,” Hakos said. The Commission voted 4-1 for the increase Monday.

Thirty-three states have raised speed limits to 70 mph or higher on some part of their road systems, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Following the 2004 speed limit increase on the Turnpike to 65 mph for all vehicles, long-term data showed the accident rate involving commercial vehicles actually dropped by 6.4 percent, and the fatality rate by 15.3 percent, the Turnpike Commission said.

But Insurance Institute spokesman Russ Rader said studies show that raising speed limits raises highway death tolls.

“Raising the speed limit means tolerating the trade off of more deaths on that road,” said Rader.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, editing by Greg McCune)

Drivers can soon hit accelerator to 70 mph on Ohio Turnpike